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Labor must reinstate life-saving teacher training

Wednesday 7 December 2016

Background

Daniel Andrews has cut the delivery of life-saving anaphylaxis training in Victorian schools.

Until late 2015, Victorian teachers were required to undertake face-to-face training in the correct use of adrenaline autoinjector devices, which can also be used to treat severe asthma.

Since 2016, only two teachers per school are required to undertake face-to-face training to administer the life-saving treatment.

There is no requirement that all teachers undertake training and schools that wish to fund teachers to undertake the course face-to-face instead of online must now find the money from their own budgets.

Despite recent fatal Thunderstorm Asthma events, Health Minister Jill Hennessy today refused to commit to reinstating this life-saving training.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Training, Skills and Apprenticeships Steph Ryan

The administration of adrenaline could save kids’ lives and Daniel Andrews must reinstate this life-saving training immediately.

Only offering training to a select few not only puts Victorian students at risk, but could leave a teacher in the distressing position of being underqualified to respond in an emergency.

Labor’s reckless cuts have left Victorian schools exposed if a critical incident was to occur during school hours.

Media releases Agriculture Environment

Labor’s $277m secret water report

Wednesday 7 December 2016

Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford has refused to rule out reversing the north-south pipeline, a project that would come at significant cost to farmers.

A secret government report last week found reversing the north-south pipeline would cost $277 million, require upgraded pumps and 14km of new pipes, either under or over the Yarra River.

For the project to be economically viable, water prices in the Goulburn system would have to be consistently above $1350/ML – well above historic levels.

Ms Pulford was unable to answer questions about the report when asked in Parliament by The Nationals Member for Northern Victoria Luke O’Sullivan on Tuesday.

In a written response on Wednesday, Ms Pulford would not rule out the project and said “this option remains on the table”.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Agriculture and Water Peter Walsh

It wasn’t enough for Daniel Andrews to waste $27 million on a desal water order we don’t need and he is now targeting farmers’ back-pocket.

The Minister couldn’t say if there was advice from her own Department on the economic viability of Labor’s north-south-north pipe dream - despite the report detailing significant impacts for farmers.

Water prices of $300/ML came close to sending some farmers out of business last year, so $1350/ML isn't only unfeasible, it's deluded.

Victorian families and farmers can’t afford to pay for any more of Daniel Andrews’ water white elephants.

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Country Vic going backwards under Labor

Tuesday 6 December 2016

 

A report released today by SGS Economic and Planning has shown that regional Victoria’s economy shrank by 1 per cent in 2015-16, making it the only area in all of Australia to have its economy go backwards.

Shadow Minister for Regional Development Tim McCurdy said “regional Victoria is going backwards under Daniel Andrews and his city-centric Labor Government”.

“Under Daniel Andrews, country roads and bridges funding has been spent in the Premier’s own city electorate and regional rail commuters have been stranded for days due to Labor’s failure to maintain the rail lines,” Mr McCurdy said.

“Whether it is taking an axe to the Country Fire Authority or leaving country roads in disrepair, regional Victorians have been the biggest losers under Daniel Andrews’ Government.”

Mr McCurdy said Daniel Andrews has no plan to manage Victoria’s population growth.

“More than 90 per cent of Victoria’s population growth is centred on Melbourne, an unsustainable situation that hurts both the city and the country,” Mr McCurdy said.

“The Liberal Nationals are developing a comprehensive plan to manage the huge growth in Victoria’s population and make sure regional Victoria is a beneficiary of the opportunities population growth provides not a loser from it.”

Media releases

five-year moratorium on establishing national parks in Victoria’s Central Highlands

Tuesday 6 December 2016

Background

The Legislative Council’s Economy and Infrastructure Committee handed down the final report for the Inquiry into the Domestic Animals Amendment (Puppy Farms and Pet Shops) Bill 2016 today.

Among 18 recommendations and one finding were:

  • that consultation with relevant stakeholders in regard to this Bill was inadequate and that it should be withdrawn by the Government
  • a stakeholder group of industry, municipal and community representatives should be established to draft the new Bill
  • the State Government should provide further funding to local government to enforce current legislation
  • that the Government abandon limiting breeders to 10 fertile females

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Agriculture Peter Walsh

This is a damning report that exposes a deeply flawed piece of legislation put up by Daniel Andrews’ Government.

Daniel Andrews must withdraw this flawed bill immediately, consult properly with breeders and local government and come back with proposed laws that are based on evidence and science.

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Half-year training update months overdue

The Andrews Labor Government are hiding the extent of Victoria's training crisis, failing to release the half-yearly update on the state of our TAFE and training sector.

Steve Herbert's time-keeping skills are on par with his dismal record-keeping skills.

We are nearly to the end of the year and have no idea of the state of our training system after the Andrews Labor Government failed to release the half-yearly update for 2016.

It is now months overdue.

Steve Herbert leaves a shameful legacy of plummeting training enrolments and $175 million in cuts to student training at TAFE.

Gayle Tierney has inherited a fragmented and struggling training sector from an incompetent Minister, but she shouldn’t cover for him by continuing to delay the release of the half-year data.

Media releases Agriculture Environment

Labor fails to deliver sustainable hunting plan

Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford today failed to explain why the State Government’s long-promised plan for hunting in Victoria is not being released.

In question time today, The Nationals’ new Member for Northern Victoria Luke O’Sullivan asked Minister Pulford to explain the five month delay in the release of the Sustainable Hunting Action Plan.

Field and Game Australia chairman Bill Patterson told October’s issue of Conservation and Hunting magazine that the government’s dragging its feet on this was a “great cause for concern”.

“Jaala Pulford is failing Victoria’s hunting community,” Leader of The Nationals and Shadow Minister for Agriculture Peter Walsh said.

“The great fear amongst hunters is that Jaala Pulford is being blocked by members of her own government who are anti-hunting and who want to deny the recreational, environment and economic benefits that hunters deliver to Victoria.”

Last week, Victoria’s Game Management Authority announced that there are now 50,000 registered hunters in Victoria, so it beggars belief that the Andrews Government won’t recognise and support such a large recreation sector which contributes so much in Victoria.

“The resignation of respected GMA chair Roger Hallam five months ago has been a further blow to hunters and the long delay in filling this role is further cause for concern,” Mr Walsh said.

“The Liberal Nationals are strong supporters of Victoria’s hunters and we understand the importance that hunting plays in pest management and regional tourism opportunities.”

Mr O’Sullivan said hunting contributes around $450 million to Victoria’s economy each year, and a lot of that is spent in country areas.

“Jaala Pulford needs to work harder to influence her city-centric leftie colleagues and get the Sustainable Hunting Action Plan out without delay,” Mr O’Sullivan said.

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Woolies must keep promise to the Goulburn Valley

Woolworths said in 2014 they would stand with SPC Ardmona suppliers “for the long-term”, yet today there are reports they might break that promise just two years in.

We were reassured at the time that the supermarket giant would “bring certainty” and “confidence” to farmers, but now they appear to be taking these same farmers for fools.

The work of The Nationals and Liberals in the former government secured a $22 million support package for vital machinery upgrades that kept the cannery open and thousands of people in work.

It is appalling Woolworths would even consider reneging on this deal.

Media releases Health and Aged Care Community Services

Regional communities miss out on ice prevention funding

The Andrews Labor Government has failed to support more than 25 community-based groups to establish ice prevention programs in their local area.

Established education and prevention strategies in rural and regional Victoria have also missed out in the latest round of the Community Ice Action Grants.

“The ice scourge is hurting families and country communities and there are dozens of groups ready to make a real difference but have been passed over by Labor,” Shadow Minister for Mental Health Tim Bull said.

“If this Government was serious about tackling the damaging impacts of ice they would fund all of these programs and continue support to those with successful programs already in place.

“After the windfall $9.7 billion sale of the Port of Melbourne lease there is no excuse to refuse funds to those trying to make a positive difference in their community.”

About 40 applications were submitted from groups across the state, 12 received funding.

Under Labor the 13 groups funded last year, including Mildura’s Project Ice and other programs in Rochester, Warrnambool and Wangaratta, will not receive ongoing funding.

“The reality is Labor talks a big game with its Ice Action Plan, but when groups put their hand up to work with Government at the community level they are being ignored,” Mr Bull said.

“Given Labor is beating its chest about a massive budget surplus and the windfall $9.7 billion Port of Melbourne lease, there is no excuse to continue to neglect our country communities.”

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Wild dog bounty backflip

Wild dog numbers are out of control because the Andrews Labor Government spent two years playing politics with an effective program set up by the former Liberal-Nationals government.

Jaala Pulford was very wrong and very arrogant to ignore the advice of farmers who are dealing with the impact of devastating wild dog attacks.

It’s disgraceful that it took two years of constant lobbying from farmers, hunters and Nationals and Liberal MPs for Jaala Pulford to come to her senses.

The city-centric Labor Government has let farmers down badly and despite the Minister’s begrudging backflip, this failure won’t be forgotten by high country communities.

Media releases Health and Aged Care Community Services

Labor’s botched NDIS rollout

More than 1000 Victorians have been locked out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) under Daniel Andrews’ botched implementation, Shadow Minister for Disability Tim Bull said.

Reports today show the Andrews Labor Government has failed to meet a deadline to pass on information to meet a target to assess the eligibility of 6110 Victorians for the NDIS.

It means more than 1000 people with a disability will miss out on vital financial support this year.

“More than 1000 Victorians with a disability are being locked out of the NDIS under Daniel Andrews’ botched implementation of the scheme in Victoria,” Mr Bull said.

“Daniel Andrews says he is committed to getting the rollout on track, but has failed to meet the most basic requirements of the NDIS rollout.”

All state and territory governments agreed to provide data on existing clients six-months before they can be transitioned to the NDIS.

Victoria is the only state to have failed to meet these deadlines and those who missed out must now wait until next year to have their eligibility assessed.

“The scheme is vital to the wellbeing and quality of life of thousands of Victorians across the state, but Daniel Andrews has shown even the state’s most in need must take a number and join the line,” Mr Bull said.

“Rather than fighting for a union takeover of the CFA, Daniel Andrews should be fighting for support for our state’s most vulnerable.”